Wild mushroom and bulgur wheat cakes
- November 2014
- Serves 2
- Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 20 min, plus chilling
This vegetarian starter is a celebration of mushrooms, using porcini, chanterelle and chestnut.
- 46.8g (19.7g saturated)
- 46.8g (6.9g sugars)
- 100g bulgur wheat
- 35g dried porcini mushrooms
- 10g unsalted butter
- Olive oil for frying and greasing
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra to garnish
- 200g mixed mushrooms, wiped clean and finely chopped (we used chestnut and chanterelle)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 tbsp dry vermouth
- 1 medium free-range egg, lightly beaten
For the dressing
- 100ml crème fraîche
- 2 tsp ready-grated horseradish
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
- Squeeze lemon juice
- Put the bulgur wheat in a large bowl and pour in freshly boiled water to cover by 1.5cm. Season with salt and pepper, cover with cling film and leave for 20 minutes or until tender. Uncover and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, soak the porcini in a small bowl for 15 minutes with just enough freshly boiled water to cover. Drain and reserve the soaking liquid, then roughly chop the porcini.
- Heat the butter and a glug of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion and thyme for 5 minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Add the fresh and soaked mushrooms and the garlic, then cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms start to take on a bit of colour. Season well, pour in the vermouth and porcini soaking liquid, then cook over a high heat until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir into the bulgur wheat and set aside to cool, then stir in the egg. Chill for 20 minutes for the mixture to firm up.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/ gas 6. Lightly grease a baking sheet with oil. Put a 7cm chef’s ring (see tip) on the sheet and fill with the mushroom mixture, packing it in well, then gently ease off the ring (you may need to hold the cakes as you do so). Repeat 3 times. Top the cakes with extra thyme sprigs, drizzle with a little oil, then bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
- Meanwhile combine the crème fraîche, horseradish and parsley in a bowl. Season and add lemon juice to taste. Serve with the mushroom cakes and seasonal vegetables.
If you don’t have a chef’s ring, use a cookie cutter or pack into oiled ramekins or moulds. Turn out onto a baking sheet to cook.
Shape the cakes as in step 4, freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. Bake from frozen on a greased baking sheet at 200°C/ fan180°C/gas 6 for 30-35 minutes until golden and heated through. Cover with foil if browning too much.
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